Maurice LaCroix Brand Up for Sale
The last few months have not been good ones for the makers of Swiss luxury watches. The combination of a 15% gain in the franc against the euro and slumping sales in China have led to a major drop in revenue from fine timepieces. The month of May saw the biggest drop in more than five years for exports of Swiss timepieces. While some brands are choosing to lay off employees or cut back on production, one well-known name is going up for sale.
The Maurice Lacroix brand has been put up for sale by the DKSH Holding AG which hopes to find a buyer by the end of the year. Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Jon Cox explained why the watchmaker is in trouble. “It’s a decent enough brand but operates in a competitive price segment and lacks the retail muscle of the bigger watch groups.” Cox estimates that the Maurice Lacroix brand, which ships 90,000 units per year, has a net worth of about $105 million.
The brand’s loss is the luxury watch buyer’s gain as watches that previously sold for 1,000 to 5,000 francs are now going for a fraction of that price. Online retailer Amazon.com has Maurice Lacroix models listed for 20% to 49% off the regular price with one especially fancy men’s timepiece marked down to 66% off.
DKSH CEO Joerg Wolle claims that several firms have approached the company over the last few years expressing interest in the Maurice Lacroix label and stated that he is “confident the brand will find a new home within a bigger group.”
So who is likely to purchase the Maurice Lacroix brand? It’s too soon to tell but it won’t be Switzerland’s biggest watchmaker Swatch Group AG. When asked about the possibility of acquiring the watch company, spokesperson Beatrice replied, “We have all the brands we need.”